According to RealtyTrac, foreclosures in the first three months of 2011 are trending down as compared to 2010. Foreclosures in January, February, and March of 2011 are down by 27% as compared to foreclosures in the same months of 2010.
Unfortunately, most experts agree that this trend is not due to a healthier economy and housing market, but instead to bank backlogs in the foreclosure process. In 2010/2011 the media called attention to banks shoddy foreclosure practices (for more on this see Nolo's article False Affidavits in Foreclosures: What the Robo-Signing Mess Means for Homeowners). Courts slapped banks for taking shortcuts on foreclosure paperwork and bypassing procedures meant to protect mortgage holders. Because some banks can no longer ram through foreclosures, a backlog has built up, slowing the foreclosure rate.